DETROIT (AP) — Infielder Gordon Beckham agreed to a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers and was invited to major league spring training.
If Beckham is added to the 40-man roster, he would get a one-year contract paying $700,000 while in the majors and $138,000 while in the minors. Beckham played in only 33 major league games over the past two seasons with the Seattle Mariners.
Catcher Hector Sanchez also agreed to a minor league deal.
Pitcher Casey Mize, taken by the Tigers with the No. 1 pick in last year’s amateur draft, also was among 20 players invited to major league camp, the Tigers said Tuesday.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Former Central Michigan coach John Bonamego is returning to the Detroit Lions.
The Lions announced Tuesday that they have hired Bonamego as special teams coordinator. That’s the same position he held with the Lions before becoming CMU’s coach for the past four seasons. Bonamego’s tenure at CMU ended when the team went 1-11 in 2018.
Bonamego was special teams coordinator for the Lions in 2013 and 2014. He’s also coached special teams for the Jaguars, Packers, Saints and Dolphins.
Bonamego went 22-29 as CMU’s coach.
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Luke Glendening was pleased the Detroit Red Wings were finally able to close out a game.
Dylan Larkin liked the timing, too.
Glendening scored twice and Detroit headed into the All-Star break with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
“It was nice to be able to finish one,” Glendening said after his team squandered leads in each of its previous two games. “This trip hasn’t been kind to us in that respect, but we’ve played some pretty good hockey and to get some results before the break is huge for us.”
Larkin had a goal for the Red Wings, who snapped their two-game skid. Jimmy Howard made 32 saves.
“It feels really good to get two points going into the break feeling good about our game,” Larkin said. “We played a solid game and we really didn’t give (Connor) McDavid and (Leon) Draisaitl a whole lot even if they found a way to get on the scoresheet. We took a lot of time and space away from them. That’s the way we have to play and it’s a huge two points for us.”
Draisaitl and Matt Benning scored for the Oilers, who have lost three in a row.
“Everybody here has to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are doing enough and playing the right way and playing for the team,” forward Alex Chiasson said.
Detroit broke a scoreless deadlock four minutes into the second period when Larkin got his 21st of the season on a quick wrist shot.
The Oilers got caught scrambling midway through the second, leading to a backhand goal by Glendening.
Draisaitl swatted in a puck out of midair for his 27th at 4:30 of the third period as Edmonton finally scored. Detroit restored its two-goal lead when Glendening somehow squeezed in a bad-angle shot past goalie Mikko Koskinen.
The Oilers pulled Koskinen early and it paid off with 2:26 left on a point drive from Benning, but they were unable to tie it.
“We just have to keep battling,” said McDavid, the Edmonton captain. “We have said everything that there is to say. It is just up to us to do it now.
“I think guys are tired right now. Maybe it is a good time to step away and refresh and come back at it with a clear head.”
NOTES: The Red Wings improved to 4-9-2 in their past 15 games. … Edmonton won the only other meeting this season, 4-3 on Nov. 3. … Koskinen made his first start for the Oilers since signing a three-year contract with an average annual salary of $4.5 million on Monday. … Two players the Oilers placed on waivers Monday, Ty Rattie and Ryan Spooner, cleared waivers Tuesday. Spooner dressed against Detroit, while Rattie was a healthy scratch.
Red Wings: Off until Feb. 1, when they host Toronto.
Oilers: Play at Philadelphia on Feb. 2.
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The ball bounced right to Charles Matthews, who dribbled once and squared up to shoot as the game clock — and more importantly, the shot clock — neared zero.
“I saw the clock when I did get the ball. I’m not sure exactly how much time, but I did know that there was time on the clock,” Matthews said. “So I didn’t want to just throw up a crazy shot. I wanted to still follow through with it.”
Matthews used up what little time he had, then made a baseline floater at the buzzer to lift No. 5 Michigan to a 59-57 win over Minnesota on Tuesday night.
On the final possession, Iggy Brazdeikis drove to the basket and had his shot blocked by Eric Curry, but the ball bounced over to Matthews to the left of the rim. His shot went high in the air and dropped through with no time remaining.
The shot by Matthews was clearly released before the game clock expired, but the shot clock was a much closer call. After a long review, officials ruled the ball was released in time.
“As heartbreaking as that was, we got that stop,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. “The ball kind of bounced their way.”
Gabe Kalscheur’s 3-pointer tied it at 57 with 30.9 seconds remaining, capping a 10-0 run for the Golden Gophers.
Brazdeikis scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half. He was held scoreless at Wisconsin on Saturday when the Wolverines lost for the first time this season. Michigan (18-1, 7-1 Big Ten) struggled through much of the game against Minnesota and was down by seven before Brazdeikis made a 3-pointer and a three-point play to cut the deficit to one. That was the start of a 23-3 run by the Wolverines.
Michigan led by 13, and then it was Minnesota’s turn to rally.
Minnesota (14-5, 4-4) scored the first six points and led 19-10 after a 3 by Kalscheur. Michigan was 3 of 20 from the field before finishing the first half a bit better. The Golden Gophers led 31-28 at halftime.
Jordan Murphy scored 15 points with 11 rebounds for Minnesota, and Brazdeikis had 11 rebounds to go with his 18 points for Michigan. The last-second shot by Matthews was especially tough for Murphy and the Golden Gophers after they’d battled back to tie it.
“We were just hoping that it was a shot-clock violation so we could get a chance at overtime,” Murphy said. “We think we were playing those guys pretty well. Obviously they made a big run in the second half, but we made a run back, so it was a pretty interesting game to play in. We just didn’t finish out our defensive possession.”
Amid all the commotion on the final play, Michigan coach John Beilein liked what he heard.
“I trust my ears,” Beilein said. “I saw the ball leave his hand, and I heard a buzzer go off, and that’s usually a good sign.”
Minnesota: The way Michigan shot the ball in the first half, the Golden Gophers could have been up by more at halftime, but turnovers hurt. Minnesota had 10 in the first half while the Wolverines committed just two. The margin was 16-6 at the end of the game.
Michigan: This obviously wasn’t an emphatic victory for the Wolverines after their weekend loss. A lot of their problems were because of outside shooting. They went 3 of 22 from 3-point range.
An underwhelming win at home is unlikely to move the needle much for Michigan.
Minnesota: The Golden Gophers host Iowa on Sunday.
Michigan: The Wolverines have a relatively quick turnaround before playing at Indiana on Friday night.
By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON— Exchanging their freewheeling ways for an improved defensive showing, the Washington Wizards looked like an entirely different team in their first game back from London.
The Wizards turned in their best defensive performance of the season on Monday afternoon in beating the Detroit Pistons 101-87. Even though Blake Griffin put up a game-high 29 points, Detroit’s scoring output was the lowest by a Washington opponent this year.
That’s a major step forward for the NBA’s second-worst defensive team.
“It was just effort,” said Bradley Beal, who scored 16 points. “It’s just a matter of being locked in, locking in to the game plan. We let Blake get a little comfortable, but for the most part we did a good job of taking all their actions away and making it difficult for them.”
Washington held Detroit to 30 percent shooting in the first half and never let their lead dip below 10 points in the second. The Wizards limited the Pistons to two offensive rebounds and had seven players in double figures, led by Trevor Ariza with 20 and Otto Porter Jr. with 19 off the bench.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey was hoping players would drink a gallon of coffee to be ready for the 2 p.m. start. Instead, Detroit scored 17 points in the first quarter and was never able to recover.
“I thought we just came out with low energy,” Griffin said. “Games like this you got to find a way, weird time, you just got to find a way to have better energy.”
The Pistons have lost two in a row and 10 of their past 14.
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
EAST LANSING — Aaron Henry made the most of his opportunity to play in place of injured starter Joshua Langford.
The freshman forward had a season-high 12 points, helping No. 6 Michigan State beat No. 13 Maryland 69-55 on Monday night with balanced offense and stifling defense.
“The Henry kid, he’s really good,” Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon said. “Great defender, hard to box out. And, he makes shots. That was a key.”
The Spartans (17-2, 8-0 Big Ten) have won 12 straight this season and are in sole possession of first in the conference. They have won a school-record 20 consecutive Big Ten regular season games dating to last year. The run ties the fifth-longest winning streak in Big Ten history and is conference’s longest since Illinois won 25 straight during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.
“I don’t think they give a trophy for it,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.
Cassius Winston and Kenny Goins each scored 14 points while Matt McQuaid and Xavier Tillman had 10 points apiece for the Spartans.
The Terrapins (16-4, 7-2) had a shot to move into first place in the conference, but couldn’t extend a seven-game win streak.
Maryland’s leading scorer, Anthony Cowan, was held to a season-low seven points.
“That was huge,” Henry said. “We looked at him on film and said, ‘He’s the guy we’ve got to lock down.’ I felt we did that.”
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Elias Pettersson was hard on himself after his first game back from a knee injury. His coach was more forgiving.
Pettersson had a goal and an assist, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Sunday.
“I felt I lost the puck a few times, made some bad decisions, some turnovers. But I’ve just got to play it simple,” Pettersson said.
The 20-year-old rookie, who ran his point total this season to 44, missed five games after suffering an MCL sprain on Jan. 3.
Antoine Roussel scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, and Bo Horvat also scored for Vancouver.
Pettersson’s goal gave Vancouver the early lead, but the team had to rally from a 2-1 deficit after an ugly second period.
Roussel broke a 2-2 tie with 6:47 remaining in the game, tipping in a shot fired by Jake Virtanen. The play came less than three minutes after Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped Roussel on a breakaway.
Horvat evened the game 7:27 into the third period.
Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek scored for Detroit as Bernier had 28 saves.
Vanek said it was frustrating for his team to give up another third-period lead.
“It’s tough. We’re all pros, we want to win,” he said. “It’s no fun when you keep losing, but I think at least we are at the stage where we are playing consistently well. There’s not bonus points for that unfortunately, but as a group we just have to put it behind us.”
By ERIC OLSON
AP Sports Writer
LINCOLN, Neb. — Four nights after Tom Izzo called out Cassius Winston for his poor play in Michigan State’s previous game, the Spartans’ star point guard responded better than his coach would have expected.
Winston scored a career-high 29 points to go over 1,000 for his career, had six assists and played tough defense on Glynn Watson Jr. while leading No. 6 Michigan State past Nebraska 70-64 on Thursday night.
“I told him before the game, ‘You’re going to get measured on how you bounce back,’ “ Izzo said.
Winston more than passed the test.
“Cassius, the way he ran that whole thing, he was like a quarterback dissecting a defense,” Izzo said.
In a win at Penn State on Sunday, Winston had seven turnovers, and his 11 points were his fewest since Florida held him to 10 on Dec. 8. Izzo told reporters it was one of the worst games Winston had played in his three seasons.
Of the Spartans’ first 18 field goals against Nebraska, Winston scored eight of them and had assists on five others. He held Watson, the Huskers’ hottest player the last week, to 3-of-13 shooting from the field and eight points.
Izzo’s criticism motivated him, he said.
“Just get back on track, playing at the level I was playing at,” Winston said. “I want to play at the highest standard, my best ability. I’ve got to do that for this team and put us in the best situation.”
Michigan State (16-2, 7-0) won its 11th straight game overall and extended its school-record Big Ten winning streak to 19 games. The Cornhuskers (13-5, 3-4) had their school-record 20-game home win streak end.
Nick Ward added 15 points and 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double. He also made his first 3-pointer of the season and second of his career.
“That should keep him happy for a week or 10 days,” Izzo said.
The Spartans led by 12 points in the final 2 minutes, but Nebraska cut the lead to four twice before Matt McQuaid made a pair of free throws for his first points with 14.2 seconds to put the game away.
Nebraska shot a season-low 32.8 percent and was just 5 of 26 on 3-pointers, 1 of 12 in the second half.
“I wasn’t very pleased with our offense in any way, shape or form,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said.
James Palmer, who led Nebraska with 24 points, struggled mightily from the field, going 6 of 21, but he made all 11 of his free throws.
“Palmer’s a good player, and I feel like I did a pretty good job on him,” McQuaid said. “I just tried to do what I could. He’s a bigger, more physical guard. I tried to get a couple charges, but things weren’t going my way. So I had to figure out different ways to guard him.”
Nebraska had hoped to build off its win at No. 25 Indiana on Monday night.
DETROIT (AP) — Andre Drummond’s bad habits bother Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey.
Luckily for Casey and the Pistons, Drummond’s good moments can win basketball games.
Drummond put up his version of a triple-double on Wednesday and the Pistons notched a crucial 120-115 overtime victory over the Orlando Magic.
Drummond had 14 points, 11 offensive rebounds and 11 defensive rebounds to record his 11th career “Moses Malone triple-double.” Only Malone (24) and Dennis Rodman (17) have recorded more since the ABA-NBA merger.
“Andre’s the best rebounder in the league — it isn’t even close — and that’s a huge asset,” Casey said.
Drummond, though, doesn’t impress his coach as a point guard, especially when he tries to go coast-to-coast after a rebound.
“Andre and I are going to have a heart-to-heart talk about his sashays down the court,” he said. “Those aren’t winning plays, because teams aren’t going to let a center dribble down the floor and score. It might happen once a month.”
Blake Griffin scored 30 points for the Pistons, who won for the third time in 11 games and moved a half-game ahead of Orlando in the Eastern Conference standings. Detroit had six players with at least 13 points.
“I thought we were sluggish, which is understandable coming off a West Coast trip, but we dug down defensively,” Griffin said. “In overtime, we were getting stops and forcing them into shots that we wanted. That was great.”
Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross each scored 24 points for Orlando.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers hired former Jacksonville assistant Nathaniel Hackett as their new offensive coordinator Wednesday.
Hackett spent most of the last four seasons with the Jaguars as quarterbacks coach (2015-16) and then as offensive coordinator before he was fired in November after Jacksonville lost its seventh consecutive game.
New Packers coach Matt LaFleur is also a former offensive coordinator, for the Los Angeles Rams and then last season for Tennessee.
Green Bay has missed the playoffs two years in a row and two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers is coming off an injury-marred season in which he threw only 25 touchdown passes, the lowest full-season total of his career. He also completed only 62.3 percent of his passes, the second-lowest rate of his time as a starter, and finished with a 97.6 passer rating, well below his 103.1 career rating.
Longtime head coach Mike McCarthy was fired on Dec. 2 and the Packers finished 6-9-1.
Hackett’s disappointing season in Jacksonville came one year after the Jaguars finished in the top 10 in the NFL in points per game (26.1), yards per game (365.9), rushing yards per game (NFL-best 141.4), sacks allowed (franchise-low 24) and average time of possession (31:47). Jacksonville reached the AFC title game that year and expectations were high coming into this season.
Hackett also was offensive coordinator for Buffalo from 2013-14 after three years at Syracuse.
Lions hire Bevell
ALLEN PARK — Darrell Bevell and Matt Patricia crossed paths in one of the most famous plays in Super Bowl history.
Now, they’ll coach on the same staff.
The Lions hired Bevell as their new offensive coordinator in a move Detroit hopes will help the team rebound after a disappointing year. Bevell spent seven seasons as Seattle’s offensive coordinator from 2011-17 and was part of a Super Bowl winner with the Seahawks. Prior to joining the Seahawks, he was Minnesota’s offensive coordinator for five seasons and a quarterbacks coach for Green Bay.
Although Bevell was part of a victory in the Super Bowl after the 2013 season, he also infamously called for a pass at the 1-yard line in the final minute of the following year’s Super Bowl that Malcolm Butler of New England intercepted.
Patricia, who was the defensive coordinator for the Patriots in that game, is now Detroit’s head coach.
The Lions went 6-10 this season, their first under Patricia, and they decided not to renew offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s contract. Cooter was a holdover from Jim Caldwell’s staff.
Only two teams in the NFC scored fewer points than Detroit’s 324 this season. Quarterback Matthew Stafford fell short of 4,000 yards passing for the first time since his injury-filled 2010 campaign.
Bevell was fired by Seattle in a coaching shakeup following the 2017 season, after the Seahawks went 9-7 and missed the playoffs.